Lock It Down: Here Are A Few Ways I Set My Makeup

Think of these products as a top coat for your face.
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Publish date:
January 12, 2016
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shoppables, powder, makeup tutorial

I don’t know about you, but I had a great 2015. I know it’s always fun to look at the year as it finally ends like “GIRL BYE!” but some good shit went down in 2015. I got eyelash extensions, I cut my hair — big changes, people! But the biggest thing change is that I finally started religiously using products to set my makeup.

Pre-2015, I would only use a setting product if I was wearing a lot of makeup or using my best products so that they’d stay perfect all day, but I’ve realized that if it’s worth putting on your face, it’s worth protecting (there’s a life lesson in there somewhere but I’m too tired to find it right now).

I know that a lot of you are reading this like “No shit, Tynan” but for everyone who doesn't set their makeup, listen up — it takes like an extra ten seconds, you should get into it. I think of setting products as a top coat for your face. You’d never paint your nails without finishing up with a top coat to protect your polish (RIGHT?). In the same way, you want to protect your makeup. Whether you spent three or thirty minutes on your face, you didn’t go through all that work just to watch it fade throughout the day, agreed? Agreed.

There are loose powders, pressed powders, and sprays, just to name a few, and each have their strong points. These are my faves.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Anti-Aging Micro Powder

This is my main. It’s a loose powder, which, truth be told, is probably more coverage than I really need, but you know I’m all about overkill.

More than keeping everything on lock, setting powders are great for:

a) perfecting your makeupb) making your face look smootherc) reducing the appearance of fine linesd) vanishing pores.

They’re also essential for cutting shine, so if you have oily skin, or — like me — tend to get shiny when wearing foundation, they’re always good to have on hand. IT Cosmetics' Bye Bye Pores HD Powder is my favorite for all of those reasons.

Loose powders are also great for people with skin that has started to show signs of aging. This probably sounds obvious and I don't mean to talk down to you BUT, since it's loose, more powder is grabbed by the brush and applied to the face, which works to soften lines.

This IT Cosmetics translucent powder is deemed anti-aging because it’s formulated with collagen to fill in lines, silk to reduce the appearance of pores, vitamin K to fight discoloration, as well as vitamin A, C, and E to help fight free radicals throughout the day.

The reason I love it is because it’s extremely smooth, never cakes up, and really cuts shine without dulling my skin’s (my skincare/my makeup’s) natural glow. Instead of looking slick three hours later, my skin has that diffused, lit from within glow that I am always so desperately trying to achieve. It's also super finely milled, smooth, and translucent enough to be used on any skin tone.

It also tames any residual tackiness from liquid foundation so it won't transfer onto anyone's clothes, making your skin smooth to the touch, almost like porcelain. I use it every day, even when I’m not wearing make up, just over any skincare I’m wearing, juuust to make sure I stay matte.

Here's an example. My skin has been hell this week so troll away in the comments. This is my bare face wearing an eye cream, a face oil which should be your winter skincare essential, and a moisturizer. They'd been on for, I'd say an hour.

It may be hard to tell in a still photo (should I have made a Vine? lol I love a Vine) but that is shinier than I'd like to be, you can tell under my eye, my nose, and my huge forehead. I hit it with one layer of the IT Cosmetics setting powder, and look at the difference it made.

The powder is so fine that it sinks into whatever it’s sitting on top of without every looking caked or creasing up, and it’s never once given me any flashback in flash photography.

Maybelline is launching a new setting powder this season, and it's a great place to start if you've never tried one out before. The only bad thing about loose powders is that, being loose powders, they don’t travel well. The obvious solution to that is to find the same product in a pressed version, and my favorite is Makeup Forever’s HD Pressed Powder.

Makeup Forever HD Pressed Powder

This is probably the powder I should be using every day, as it’s going to give me less product payoff with one pass and allow me to build it up until I get the coverage I want without hitting me with everything all at once. This is also ideal for touchups, because you’re not going to whip out a loose powder and a floofy brush in a bar bathroom now are you? I mean, I would.

For pressed powders and maximum portability, ditch your brush altogether and just make sure you’ve got a Beauty Blender Bouncing around your bag for quick touchups anywhere. For a for a little extra color coverage while setting your makeup, some of you reach for a powder foundation. I'm not one for powders, but I still kind of think this is genius.

A great middle of the road product that doesn't geek me is the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish.

It's not a powder foundation but it's not a translucent powder, either. It's a softly pigmented baked powder that's great for setting foundation while giving you a touch of extra coverage and a illuminated, satin finish.

Urban Decay’s All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

This is what I reach for when I’m really not playing around.

The powders I mentioned before are wonderful, but this is an extra layer of protection. When I use UD’s All Nighter Setting Spray, I do so in conjunction with a setting powder. The reason is because I still love that poreless finish I get from a powder and want to lock that in along with the rest of my makeup.

Even if I’m using a setting spray, I’m always hesitant to touch my face with any product after I’ve finished applying makeup.

All Nighter has an alcohol base so it dries quickly, so you’re not putting yourself at risk of smearing anything while you’re waiting for it to dry down, this also helps keep your skin matte. It’s gentle, won’t irritate your skin, and is good for all skin types.

This is an effective and super easy way to set your entire face, from powder products to cream, eyeshadow to contour, in one quick step. I just grab it, give it a few shakes, and spray six to eight sprays until I feel like my face is fully covered (I always miss my face with at least three of those sprays, I have bad aim.)

I don’t use All Nighter every day, but when I do, I know my look is going to be locked in until my Clarisonic hits my face that night (let’s be real, the next morning…)

Also, if you’re still setting your face with hairspray, cut that shit out. If it’s not meant to be used on your face, then probably don’t use it on your face. So, I'm dying from curiosity, what do you use to set your makeup? How long does it last? Do you use something that I need to be using? Tell me in the comments!

Tynan's makeup is not going anywhere on Twitter @TynanBuck.